Kobe Bryant is one of the most anticipated stars returning from injury this season. The Los Angeles Lakers need him now more than ever, after all the drastic changes the team went through during the offseason. However, as the Black Mamba recently stated, he still needs few more weeks before he can return into the action at the hard court. He is still rehabbing from his torn Achilles injury.
Of course, Kobe is way ahead of schedule, as he has already stated in his previous public comments. The 35-year old superstar traveled to Germany few days ago in order to received treatment similar to the one that he had a couple of years ago. This treatment was not linked to the Achilles injury he is currently rehabbing from.
Bryant is now back again with the team and will accompany his teammates to all the activities. During his recent comments, Kobe stated that still there is no timetable for his return. He also said that he will need at least three weeks of conditioning in order to reach a level close to the one he was prior to the injury. This means that he will most probably miss the season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers, scheduled for October 29.
Despite his aging body, Kobe Bryant has managed to stay at the highest level all those years in the NBA. In fact, the 2012-2013 season was one of the best of his career with the Lakers. He was the most consistent player of the team and he also managed to alter his game so that it better fits to the new reality in LA.
Now, after all the major changes the team went through this summer and the departure of Dwight Howard, Kobe will need to step up and carry the Lakers team. Fellow superstars Steve Nash and Pau Gasol are not in the shape they used to be a few seasons ago. Nash is at the age of 39 and will most probably see limited playing time. Gasol on the other hand struggled last season with his performance. He also experienced various injuries that didn’t allow him to be the dominant center he used to be. It still remains to be seen how well those two fading stars will respond to the urgency call next season.
The Lakers will have to try hard to make it to the postseason in 2013-2014. With its current roster, there are big chances that the team won’t make it. That’s why every game matters for Kobe. Every night that he sits, the Lakers’ chances for a solid run and a top-eight spot will be reduced.
His rehabilitation process is smooth up to this point. He stated that he looks forward to the day that he will be able to fully participate in the team’s activities. But as of now, he still remains sidelined and slowly tries to get things going.